Home motherhood/family/parenting Building Family Relationships: Time & Talking

Building Family Relationships: Time & Talking

by Kelly Crawford

As I promised in the last post, Cultivating Family Relationships, I wanted to attempt to provide some practical ways we can tie the strings of fellowship in our homes.

Do we even understand how important this is? The modern American family spends enormous time and energy in pursuits like sports, careers, entertainment and education, but often neglect the far more important pursuit of relationships with one another!  Scripture says that we’ll be identified as Christians by our love for each other.

Do they know we are Christians by our love?

Time and Talking.

Hands down, there is NOTHING that will replace this vital aspect of building relationships.  It’s  foundational. Without it, nothing else we do will mean much.  Don’t take for granted that living in the same house will automatically make you close to one another.

I think of Jesus as He discipled his followers.  Lots of time and talking all throughout the day (as in Deuteronomy).

“Nothing in the home life needs to be more carefully watched and more diligently cultivated that the conversation. It should be imbued with the spirit of love. No bitter word should ever be spoken. The language of husband and wife in their intercourse together should always be tender. Anger in word, or even in tone, should never be suffered. Chiding and faultfinding should never be permitted to mar the sacredness of their speech. The warmth and tenderness of their hearts should flow out in every word that they utter to each other. As parents, too, in their intercourse with their children, they should never speak save in words of Christlike gentleness. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that children’s lives can grow up into beauty in an atmosphere of strife…” -JR Miller


I shudder to see statistics of television-viewing. (I’m not “anti-tv”, I’m just a realist about what it’s doing to our families.) And if you do the math, both spouses usually go separate ways for the day, children go separate ways, everyone comes home and takes care of responsibilities, then, not only do they veg out in front of the tv, but most families watch different sets in different rooms!

The average family doesn’t even sit down to dinner together at night.  When are they having meaningful conversation, getting to know each other, tying heart strings?

Is it any wonder we don’t see the strong, loving bonds among family members that should be there?  That many husbands and wives become better friends with people at work, and siblings’ “best friends” hardly ever include each other? I urge you to think about how important your family relationships are and be willing to do even what may seem hard in order to nurture them.

It requires a concerted effort to create an atmosphere where conversation thrives.  We have to be deliberate about guarding our time and allowing plenty of room for face to face interaction.  Let’s do what we have to do to make it happen!

Next post:  Helping Siblings Bond


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Deanna January 21, 2011 - 11:36 pm

This issue is so vital! It is important as parents to be deliberate with our children in building relationships not only between parent and child but between siblings, too.

Building Family Relationships: Time & Talking | | Bitter And Sweet Blog January 22, 2011 - 7:33 am

[…] Follow this link: Building Family Relationships: Time & Talking | […]

Kim M January 22, 2011 - 9:20 am

Great post.
I really need to get that book. 🙂

Kim January 22, 2011 - 11:07 am

Thank you, Kelly, great post!

Natasha January 22, 2011 - 11:30 am

thank you great post! My husband has been laid off, and so that means he is at home with me all day. We are running out of things to talk about. But when we read things together ( like this post or listen to a preacher) our conversation starts to outpour with our innermost desires, fears and thoughts. We have to work at it, staring in front of the t.v and watching a show will not spark too much conversation ( unless it’s a cooking show or a DIY or HGTV show, we generally begin to overflow with ideas and ambitions when we all watch this together)

Anna January 22, 2011 - 7:14 pm

So important to turn off the TV and do something together like play a board game or cook together or read books aloud! All these activities invite conversation.

Kendal January 22, 2011 - 8:20 pm

I am so looking forward to your next post. I have such a desire to see my girls become best friends and I totally reject the world’s idea that siblings have to be rivals.
Great post on family relationships!

Kelly L January 23, 2011 - 7:48 pm

So true! One of my biggest ‘irritations’ is the amount of time I see women spend outside their families )men too, to be fair). Girls night out, spa time, me time….
I LOVE being with my husband and daughter! To leave them and go spend money with friends is so irrational to me.

I actually know one of the reasons God has us homeschool is so our daughter can be involved in softball. In fact, we vetoed All Stars this year (without asking God…smart move) and then God told us to be in it. We are changing our hearts right now to get on board with His plan. But this is to say, I do not know how people who spend no time with their child(ren) during the day go straight from work to their house and then directly to practices or games. I don’t get how anyone spends time as a family (except in the bleachers/stands. How can anyone really get to know each other in 1 1/2 hours a day? If that was a time limit for those dating/courting, would anyone get married?

Just my thoughts, not to start a controversy. It is so critical to be your child’s biggest influence. And 3 hours a day cannot cut it.

Growing Relationships at Home | November 30, 2012 - 8:26 pm

[…] Be deliberate about spending time together. […]


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